After 1945, the little-known Paris-based advertising agency grew rapidly, becoming the world's fourth-largest agency.
It was a leader in promoting France's post-war economic boom, especially the expansion of the advertising Industry; it was successful because of its close ties with top officials of the French government, its clever use of symbols to promote itself, and its ability to attract clients from widely diverse growing industries.
It is one of the "Big Four" agency companies, alongside WPP, Interpublic and Omnicom. Publicis Groupe S.A. is headed by Arthur Sadoun, and its agencies provide digital and traditional advertising, media services and marketing services (SAMS) to national and multinational clients.
In 2011, Publicis was named the third-largest marketing group worldwide by revenue, surpassing Interpublic. By the end of 2010, the twin sectors of digital activities and high-growth emerging countries represented one-half of Publicis Groupe's total revenue.
The group had operations in over 202 cities in 105 countries, including a strategic alliance with Dentsu.
In February 2015, Publicis acquired Sapient Corporation to form Publicis.Sapient as the world's largest digital network, which at the time included SapientNitro, Sapient Consulting, DigitasLBI and RazorfishGlobal.
In December 2015, Publicis announced a new organisation designed to better serve clients, around 4 main divisions:
Publicis Communications (gathering creative networks Leo Burnett Worldwide, Publicis Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi, Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), global design and technology consultancy Nurun, and creative production group Prodigious Brand Logistics and global PR agency MSLGROUP) under the leadership of Arthur Sadoun;
Publicis Media (gathering the media planning & buying capabilities of Starcom Mediavest Group and ZenithOptimedia) under the leadership of Steve King;
(gathering technology & digital agencies Razorfish, DigitasLBi and Sapient Corporation) under the leadership of Alan Herrick;
Publicis Healthcare, already in existence, will remain under the leadership of Nick Colucci.
In addition, Laura Desmond was to become Chief Revenue Officer, leading a team of 20 Chief Client Officers who would lead client teams across all Publicis Groupe entities.
The new organisation was to be effective 1 January 2016.
Since 2016, Publicis has co-organised, with Groupe Les Echos, the annual technology conference, Viva Technology.
The company owns several full-service advertising groups that undertake a range of media activities: mobile and interactive online communication, television, magazines & newspapers, cinema and radio, outdoor. The company's SAMS services include direct marketing/customer relationship management services, sales promotion, healthcare communications, multicultural and ethnic communications, corporate and financial communications, human resource infrastructure, public relations, design services, interactive communications, events marketing and management, sports marketing, and production and pre-press services. Its media services include media planning, media buying, and media sales. Publicis Groupe's Vivaki developed a technological platform supported by Microsoft, Google, Yahoo! and AOL Platform A technologies that offers advertisers the possibility to target specifically defined audiences in a single campaign across multiple networks.
Qorvis, a U.S. subsidiary of Publicis, has represented the country of Saudi Arabia since the September 11 attacks and has been accused of helping to whitewash its record on human rights. More recently, the writer Ken Klippenstein obtained leaked documents from Qorvis, which show the PR company pitched a private company on a four to five minute propaganda video, which hoped to improve the reputation of its Homestead, Florida shelter for "unaccompanied alien children."
Publicis Communications Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) Glickman Shamir Samsonov Leo Burnett Worldwide Publicis New York Publicis Worldwide Publicis India Publicis Beehive Saatchi & Saatchi Epsilon
Publicis Media Starcom Zenith Spark Foundry Digitas Blue 449 Performics Saatchi & Saatchi
Specialized Agencies Médias & Régies MSLGROUP Prodigious Brand Logistics Publicis Healthcare Communications Group
History of advertising